2007 Interview trends

By: Jill Kelly

You’ve heard about speed dating, but did you know speed interviewing is one of the latest trends being used by employers and recruiters to assess potential applicants?

Current industry research on Career Industry Megatrends by Career Directors International shows that Puzzle Interviews, Fishbowl Interaction Activities and Simulation Interviews are just a few of the newer interview innovations being used in the ever-evolving quest by employers to make smart hiring decisions.

With increasing litigation and costs associated with hiring mistakes, employers are now placing increased focus on the job applicant’s performance at interview to determine their potential match with the company’s values and objectives. ?

So what are the newer techniques being used and how can you prepare for these pressurised situations?

  • Speed Interviewing: Speed interviewing is where recruiters meet and screen multiple candidates at one time. This technique is being used increasingly for graduate positions and employers could meet and interview anything up to 15 candidates in a sitting. The key to performing well under these circumstances is preparation. Never before has a first impression been so important. ?Before you attend research the company so you know what they are looking for in their employees and prepare a few key messages that you can draw on during the interview to convey your relevant expertise. On the day bring with you spare copies of your career documentation, be well groomed, and when your name is called walk confidently to the interviewer and shake the employers hand.

    During the interview focus carefully on the questions asked so that you can give effective responses in the time allocated. Lastly make sure to thank the interviewer for their time and ask for their business card so you can follow up with a thank you card or email.
  • Puzzle Interviews: Microsoft, a frequent past user of the puzzle interview has led to an increased usage of this challenging interview technique. Puzzle interviews ask applicants to respond to logic questions as employers search for the most creative and innovative applicants. Often puzzle interviews are not looking for the right answer but to assess how you respond to the question under the pressure of the interview. As with all interviews the best thing you can do if you think you will be facing this type of test is to research these types of puzzles, as many utilise the same underlying principles. If caught unaware with this type of question at interview remember to follow some basic interview strategies. Be confident during the interview and feel free to clarify the question, its dimensions and to request any unknown information. Focus on the methodology you are using to answer the question and communicate this to the interviewer, and remember if the question is complex the answer is often simple and vice versa, and sometimes there is no right answer!
  • Fishbowl interviews and simulations: In fishbowl interviews and simulations applicants are given scenarios or case studies and asked to show how they would respond. In fishbowl interviews these occur in a group setting and everything you do and say is closely monitored.? In simulations you are put into a mock setting and asked to simulate your response. ?When you are responding to these types of situations remember that the employer is often looking at all dimensions of your behaviour to see if you fit their employee mould. They may be watching to determine your level of service commitment, analytical skills, team work, leadership, logic or problem solving to name but a few. Again, active research on the company prior to the interview will allow you to give reasoned responses based on your understanding of the company and may offer you an edge over other applicants on the day. ??Remember though, that in a group setting they will be looking at your leadership and teamwork capabilities as well so don’t be too aggressive in trying to make a point.

So what does all this mean to applicants? Like the old boy scout adage, “be prepared!". Candidates now more than ever need to take interview preparation seriously. Research and know the company you are applying to, prepare questions and responses in advanceArticle Search, and if interviewing isn’t your forte consider investing in the help of an Interview Coach so you can go into the interview with confidence. And lastly good luck!

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